From Teach Mentor Texts:
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
After doing the meme for a couple of weeks, we realized this would be a fun meme to start up with a kidlit focus - anyone reading and reviewing books in children's literature - it can be picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, you name it in the world of kidlit and it's in! We have loved being a part of this meme and we hope you do too! We encourage everyone participating to go and visit the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and to comment on as many posts as you can. We love talking books and believe in sharing and discussing what we're reading. We hope you join us!
Last Week I Dived Into...
White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Just look at the cover. This was a beautiful and beatifully written book. I am looking forward to teaching my students about acceptance and prejudice through this book next year.
Professionally, I finished Kelly Gallagher's Deeper Reading. What a fabulous read! I love how Kelly writes so conversationally. It's like sitting back and talking to a colleague during PLC time! I took a lot of notes about helping students move past surface-level comprehension. I'm also a little sad, because I have now read Kelly's entire library of professional books. Now I have to wait for him to write another!
I also finished Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for my staff book club pick. Phew! 529 pages! We picked it as our summer read for a reason. The writing was so rich in some parts, I just had to read them over and over again.
Finally, I read a Joni Mitchel biography by Michelle Mercer called Will You Take Me as I am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period. This was also for a staff book club summer reading challenge. It fulfilled the category for reading a book about music. As a novice guitar player, I was interested in reading about someone labeled as one of the greatest female guitarists of all time. Her story was interesting, and I look forward to reading more about her and her contemporaries. I know little about the folk music scene of the 60s and 70s.
Dragonwings by Laurence Yep. I'm about 30 pages in, and I'm really liking it so far! I also hope to get to Beth Revis's A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2).
Professionally, since I'm (sniffle) done with Kelly Gallagher's library of books, I'm moving on to Simplifying Response to Intervention: Four Essential Guiding Principals as part of an RTI focus group in my building.
As for adult books, I am finally getting to We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Years ago, my staff book club's first pick was Columbine by Dave Cullen. We had heard that it got to the truth behind the school shooting and dispelled many myths put forth by the media. I recommend it to every teacher. It included details about the shooters' lives, school lives, class writing, and journals. Dave Cullen was there that day in April, and this work is the culmination of 10 years worth of research. Our book club was horrified and deeply moved by the stories in the book, and we continue to talk about it today. Though it wasn't an official book club choice, several of us also read William Landay's Defending Jacob about a DA whose son is accused of murdering a classmate and it gave us a unique perspective from the parents' side. Now, those of us who read Defending Jacob are getting into We Need to Talk About Kevin as another offshoot of the school shooting topic. This is another book from the viewpoint of the parents through letters from Kevin's mother. It's not a very uplifting topic to read about, but it always generates a lot of conversation.